catnipoflife

Observe life at its best, listen to life’s songs, embrace life’s bounties, breathe the breath of life and savor life to its fullest!

The Owl

What recollections do you have of the owl? As a child, mine are two fold. First the nursery rhyme, The Wise Old Owl, which handed down through tradition merits the art of measuring our words. Basically it is told in an attempt to teach a child the virtue of being quiet! Second is the nonsense poem The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear. Within the poem’s verses is mention of four animals – an owl, a cat, a pig, and a turkey, each with an important role toward a happy love story ending.

With the month of February being the month of love and Valentine’s Day only a week away, let’s venture forth with this second one foremost in mind.

Of the four animals from the poem, why place emphasis on the owl? Perhaps because it is the least recognized throughout the year. Oink! Oink! Oink! celebrates National Pig Day (March 1),  It’s Party Time…for the CAT! focuses full attention on our feline friend for National Cat Day (October 29) while Gobble Gobble Gobble sets our sights on a holiday feast at Thanksgiving in November! Question is…When is Owl Day?

OwlGrid

Who-o-o-o-o is who?

Before setting our sights on a day of celebration for the owl, perhaps a bit of owl knowledge will establish reason and purpose behind why such a celebration might be in order. How much do you know about the owl? It is a bird, it has big eyes, it sits in trees (often screeching, thus the Screech Owl), it is a night predator (thus, the Night Owl which describes many a human), it is shrouded in witches’ tales. Um-m-m-m? Is that all there is to the owl? Not hardly…

THE OWL

owl-in-tree

A funny little bird
Big eyes, crooked beak
Avid hunter by night
By day hide ‘n’ seek

owl-in-flight1

Mystique in silent flight
Quick and eloquent
Supple velvety down
Soft and elegant

owl-catch

Victory in battle
A gourmet mainstay
Bye bye pesky rodents
Owl’s favorite prey

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With a turn of the head
Almost all way ’round
Super-powered senses
Hardly miss a sound

owlets

Mysterious hissing
Creepy hooty hoot
Masters of spookiness
Yet oh so darn cute

Though it’s illegal to keep owls as pets in the United States, they’re intelligent and sociable. (Most of the time, anyway—owls can attack humans when feeling threatened.) In Japan, there are even owl cafés, where you can hang out with owls while drinking tea.

What are your thoughts on a designated Owl Day? Would you like to celebrate and what date do you think it should be?

please-share-your-thoughts

 

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Happy New Year!

Welcome-2016

Make the leap from 2015 to 2016 with New Year’s resolutions that are doable! We all have the tendency to declare that which is most improbable…NOT impossible but simply not likely. In other words, be reasonable so goals can be accomplished! It is always possible to go beyond any expectations. Start the New Year afresh not allowing those forgotten resolutions of the past go against you. Let them remain right where they need to be…in the past, kaput, gone!

leap_image

May 2016 be filled with catnip…days & nights where you Observe life at its best, listen to life’s songs, embrace life’s bounties, breathe the breath of life and savor life to its fullest! After all, you have but one life…LIVE IT! Make the next 365 days count. That’s right…you still have 365 days to go since 2016 is a leap year.

Onward-Quote

believe

Happy-New-Year

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The Reason for this Season

The Christmas season is filled with times of joyful gathering…family, friends, colleagues, co-workers, acquaintances from many different backgrounds. The main question is…why do you join others in celebration at this time of year? Is it simply feasting and partying, dressing in fancy attire, for camaraderie, perhaps time to catch up on happenin’s throughout the year? What makes it different from any other gathering? There is only one reason for this season which should remain at the top of the list, the star of the Christmas tree, the most wondrous gift of them all…

*****
May we never be so focused on getting gifts & PRESENTS 
that we forget to receive…
 *****
*****
…the gift of HIS PRESENCE!
  *****

 Spread the pure joy!

There is magic in Christmas
A time for joy, a time of peace
Sharing, caring, preparing
As cascading snowflakes increase

A star tops the Christmas tree
Presents of love beneath
All in the joy of giving
Encircling like a wreath

People come, people go
All in the name of good cheer
Wishing Merry Christmas
And the happiest New Year

 Coziness of a fireplace
A warm hug, tender kiss

Christmas Eve closes in prayers
No one dares not miss

 While saying Merry Christmas
With wishes for a Happy New Year
How many celebrate birth
The real reason behind all the cheer?

Wining, dining, feeling fine
Feasting on the best
When asked why you celebrate
What do you attest?

Hope in Christmastime
The message of the season
Birth of our Savior
Truly the blessed reason

 Spread the word far and wide
In full convoy
 Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Spread the pure joy!

 

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A Touch of Catnip

keyboardcat1

Doesn’t appear our little feline friend is playing Beethoven’s Fifth…”bum bum bum buuuuuummmm” by his/her keyboard strokes so let’s use a little imagination and pretend the little fellow (or gal) is striking a familiar Christmas tune.

Christmas is a special time of year when music fills the air while sweet-smelling aromas tickle the nose of each passerby, whether within the home kitchen, along city sidewalks and streets or weaving along country roads. While this is a time of caring and giving, let us not forget those darling little ‘angels’ that bring so much joy and love into the home. Let’s make theirs a purr-fectly wonderful Christmas as they make ours a melodically meowy Christmas!

 

meowy-Christmas

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The Time When Giving Rules

As Christmas day draws nearer and nearer, very little time remains for shopping, especially for the little gifts that may have been forgotten. The last minute push always has people rushing around almost in a daze…in a craze anyway! So, ever thought of doing something different? Staying away from the malls, putting your imagination to work? What about inviting family and friends over and being creative! Make some small gifts together or simply let the time of enjoyment be the gift itself…give the gift of smiles and laughter.

* * * * *

The Time When Giving Rules

 Christmas-red-divider

Christmas
a time for giving
Loving, laughing & living
Forgetting & forgiving
Remembering, reliving
 
 
 
Christmas brings time for laughter
Today, tomorrow, thereafter
Gifts of love, you’re the crafter 
Those ne’er bought before or after
 


Something to use, something to share
The idea is showing you care
Make it something unique with flair
 Or totally risque if you dare
 
 
Should you decide food’s the thing
 Add to it just the right zing
Small goodies smiles surely bring
When the mason jar is king
 
 
If the gift is a gift of money
Be sure to make it funny
Any dollar bill, sweet as honey
Leaves the day bright and sunny

 Less demanding are simple tools
Maybe rhinestone studded jewels
Some little wooden sewing spools
All in the time when giving rules

©2014 Sharla Lee Shults

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Gone, yet ne’er forgotten!

Blue-Christmas-Tree

Amid all the festiveness of the holiday season come times of remembrance… Christmas past, family and friends gone but not forgotten. There is an overwhelming sense of sadness that at the same time brings on smiles of the heart. The joy, the laughter, the silliness within the seriousness of the time. With Christmas, there is always music, special music. Some of the melodies have been passed down from generation to generation while new ones hit the scene with the changing times.

 music-notes-divider

Loving memories of those who have passed on are rekindled everyday in music that lives on and on and on…

Gone, yet ne’er forgotten
Music that calms & heals
Soothing the very soul
With each heart it steals
  Yesterday, today, tomorrow
Music starts the morning
Your songs live within us
Keeping our hearts yearning
  With the Christmas season
You’re missed more ’n’ more
With melodies of the holidays
Drifting in and out the door

 Gone, yet ne’er forgotten
Music to relive the days
Happiness within sorrow
Til the last memory fades

©2013
Sharla Lee Shults

  

To all who have loved ones in Heaven this Christmas, may you find joyful peace with family and friends.

..

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Touch of Catnip…

The cat chases the mouse

cat-mouse-horizontal-line

The frog catches the fly

Frog-fly-line

The dice keep rollin’

rolling-dice

As tunes rock on by

music-line-animation

*****

Such are happenin’s
That daily life brings
Chases and captures
Emotional stings

*****

Within ties that bind
Bumps & knots along the way
Thoughts of sights ahead
Bring smiles at close of day

smiley-line

*****

Perhaps it’s ocean waves
Stars twinkling in the night sky
The hugs, the tender kisses
The dance you can’t deny

*****

Maybe it’s none of these
Perhaps it’s all rolled into one
Within each day that passes
It’s life. It’s love. It’s fun.

 Advice-from-the-cat

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Bon Appétit & Music Too!

Reposted from Awakenings with a touch of catnip…

Happy-Thanksgiving2

Gobble Gobble Gobble is the tune of the day if the only thing on your mind is the Thanksgiving feast…BUT that is not all Thanksgiving is about. It’s only a start…

  gluttons for punishment
partake of the Thanksgiving feast
with abundant choices
one can feel like a gorging beast

*****
try this for something different…
go around the table
fill a plate with all the trimmings
deliver to the disabled

*****
~Ella Wheeler Wilcox

  Thanksgiving is not just about food…it’s music too!

music of Thanksgiving
soul felt,  full of emotion
melodies of the heart
spreading joy, inspiration
*****
 it’s rhythmic balance in nature
in tune with songs of life
 spiritually rewarding
“whispers of drum and fife”

 Thanksgiving is about…

 giving thanks for many blessings
received the whole year through
being with family and friends
 cherishing all they do
*****
living, laughing, loving
never forgetting those in need
giving inspiringly
encouraging others indeed
~
Beyond the Thanksgiving table…
~
remember blessings said
being heard with a grateful ear
 humbly and earnestly
memorable words to endear
*****
 emit emotions from the heart
those that last all year through
solemn thankfulness amid praise
to never bid adieu

 Thanksgiving_catnip

Thanksgiving-cute-kitty-in-pumpkin
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World Kindness Day

Have you ever thought about the difference in thankfulness versus gratefulness? During hot, dry spells, you are thankful for the slightest hints of rain or during the winter, you are thankful for the day falling snow finally wanes. On the other hand, you are indeed grateful for the presence of nature, the nurture that Mother Nature brings to the earth in the forms of nourishment, care, shelter, guidance, inspiration. Being aware of your surroundings interjects feelings of thoughtfulness which in turn makes you truly thankful thereby expressing gratitude for all blessings received. Inner spirit is at peace, heart and soul.

Turning Thoughtfulness

Being thankful, giving thanks
Go together hand-in-hand
One without the other
Makes for a lonely stand

Be thankful for many blessings
Each new day may impart
Specially those unexpected
Which arrive heart-to-heart

Give thanks in return
For those blessings received
Since unspoken words
Can’t be quickly perceived

Be thankful for troubled times
Reaching out to those concerned
For without painful mistakes
Lessons cannot be learned

Give thanks for the little things
From strangers and loved ones alike
Whose genuine thoughtfulness
Presents a delightful heartstrike

Be thankful for each morning
With which a fresh start begins
Giving thanks for daily blessings
Until the day finally ends

Turn thoughtfulness into gratitude
A work of heart, a practice of soul
Find pleasure giving to others
A notion that never grows cold

catniplogosm1

© 2015 catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults

In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.

—Albert Schweitzer (Alsatian theologian, organist, philosopher 1875–1965)

RAK_be_one

November 13th is World Kindness Day!

A global 24-hour celebration dedicated to
paying-it-forward and focusing on the good.

Feelings of thoughtfulness naturally bring on acts of kindness, which make for a better day any time of the year. Even though November 13th is set aside as a day of celebration, let it only be the beginning of random acts of kindness to last all year!

Need some ideas?
Opportunities for random acts of kindness are everywhere. We just have to take the time and allow ourselves to do something memorable for others. November 13th, World Kindness Day, is a good day to remind us of that. The good news, is that kindness doesn’t always require spending. A nice letter, a compliment, or even your time can make someone smile.
Shari’s Berries created a Random Acts of Kindness Generator to inspire you on World Kindness Day. Just choose a category, and the generator will provide a simple act you can do for someone else. Luckily, there are over fifty different kindness ideas which you can perform all year long!
http://www.berries.com/blog/53-random-acts-kindness-generator
Random acts of kindness come from the heart, one beat at a time! 
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Both Sides of Life: City vs. Country

Crédits photo : Johnia! (Flickr)

Crédits photo : Johnia! (Flickr)

Are you a city slicker born and reared in the country? A country boy or girl living it up in the city? Country born, country stayed or city born, city to this day? Much is to be learned from both sides of life. The sleepy country side isn’t for everyone nor is the flipside, hectic city life. One may seem pale in comparison to the other so venture forth seeking the brightness of each. If you live in the country, take time to visit the city. If you live in the city, get out into the country for rural goodness.

Life in the City

Welcome to the city!
May I show you around?

A concrete jungle
It has long been called
A mighty fortress
Towering, stone-walled

Glaring, surely blaring
Sights amid sounds
All around the city
Hold you spellbound

Daytime, nighttime glamour
Makes you feel like new
Singing, dancing, engaging
Nothing you can’t do!

Hustling, bustling city squares
Crisscrossing asphalt streets
Coffee shops by the dozens
Invite strangers to meet

Spectacles, smells, odd routines
Invite strangers to stroll
Events in a city park
Offer a grassy knoll

A haven for many
Sin city to a few
Life in the city
Never bids adieu!

Welcome to the city!
Ready to wheel around?

Hail a taxi
In a heated rush
Paint the city
With your own life’s brush!

catniplogosm1

©2015 catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults

Quote for the Moment: A city is a place where there is no need to wait for next week to get the answer to a question, to taste the food of any country, to find new voices to listen to and familiar ones to listen to again.

            —Margaret Mead (American cultural anthropologist, 1901–1978)

Have you ever felt like walking directly into a picture? The image being so clear, so persuasive you actually felt the scene? It could be you’ve imagined a setting from books or magazines you read or heard described. What drew you in could be the pleasantry of the landscape, the land, the horses or the people. The image became so implanted in your mind nothing could stop you from searching for such a place. You drove, drove, drove until you found it! Maybe after reading that will be the guidance you need to seek your own spot in the countryside.

Countryside Manner

At dawn beads of morning dew
Dance across spiders’ webs
Reflecting the rising sun
As pale light strokes the sky

An oratorio of frogs
Birds, mammals, creepy-crawlies
Generate the essence of song
Bringing on a tender sigh

Wide expanses of green-on-green
Adorn the rolling country hillside
With wildflowers, gems of beauty
Joining the horizon’s edge of blue

Just up the road two horses
Grazing alongside a field of buttercups
Look upward toward earth’s edge
In the forefront of the panoramic view

A wooden farmhouse in the background
Stands naked within the scene
Surrounded only by fields of green
Serene, natural beauty

An old country farmer
Plowing his corn field nearby
Reflects on life’s duty
With a swift wipe of his brow

Chickens scatter noisily
As eggs are carefully gathered
The plumpest of the plump hens
Tries to escape supper somehow

Such is the countryside manner
Where thoughts lost in daydreams
Leave imagination unbound
On wings completely free

Holding hands, shoulder-to-shoulder
Sittin’ upon the grass
Bears glory in the countryside
Now that’s the place for me!

catniplogosm1

©2015 catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults

Quote for the Moment: When I go out into the countryside and see the sun and the green and everything flowering, I say to myself —Yes indeed, all that belongs to me!

            —Henri Rousseau (French Post-Impressionist painter, 1844–1910)

So, what is your side of life…city or country?

cityvs.country

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